Men's Soccer's Matt Piccoli leads U-18 Team to National Championship.
Friday, August 10, 2007

Fort Myers, Fla. – FGCU freshman Matt Piccoli (Selden, N.Y.) scored the winning goal for his U-18 team, Terryville Fire (NY East), to lead them to the Boys Under-18 United States Youth Soccer Association National Championship, which is also known as the Andy Stone Cup.

Words can’t explain how I felt after scoring the game-winning goal,” said Piccoli. “It was amazing and it will probably go down as the greatest goal I will ever score in my career.”

Piccoli’s goal helped the underdog Terryville Fire defeat the three-time defending national champions, Arsenal FC. The Fire defeated Arsenal the previous day, marking the first loss for Arsenal in four years at the US Youth Soccer National Championships.

The first half was an evenly contested battle with minimal scoring chances. At the half, the Fire made some minor adjustments and discussed finding ways to create one-on-one chances. A few minutes into the half, Piccolli received a pass and slipped through three defenders and beat the keeper to score the games first and only goal.

“The final was a great game,” said Piccoli. “I think that our team showed a lot of heart, because we were huge underdogs but found a way to come out on top.”

The 2007 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country’s most prestigious national youth soccer tournament, providing over 185,000 players on more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer’s 55 state associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play.